And two-thirds of the way across the country, I ran a race. At altitude. (I will have wayyy more posts on my trip, this was just the easiest to start with!)
For as long as I was planning this trip, Laura tried to talk me into running the race. I hemmed and hawed quite a bit, because, to be honest, I’m in terrible shape and was nervous about elevation.
But in the week leading up to the race, I realized I’d probably regret turning down the chance to run a race in another state on vacation. By the time I’d arrived in Colorado, I’d already taken the train from New York to Denver, and we’d just spent two nights in a row sleeping on the train. Not in a sleeper car. The night before the race, we had wayyy too much fun (read: way too much wine) catching up and I thought maybe I’d just skip the race.
I woke up race morning and, once again, realized I’d totally regret it if I bailed and quickly got ready. It felt really weird to this city girl to drive to a race and have a place to keep stuff in the car while I ran instead of checking a bag. Laura was doing the 10K, and that race started at 8, and the 5K at 8:10.
The race was called the Getaway 5K, and it was beach themed—the race swag at the end was in a beach bucket, and there were bouncy beach balls at the race start. It was such a fun little laid-back race, compared to what I’m used to.
Learning to be more gentle with myself is something I’m working really hard on. I’m on several medications, I’ve gained weight, and I’d been traveling and not sleeping a ton. All I wanted to do was get in a run and enjoy myself.
The race felt like a total blur (maybe because 5k is a short distance to me, relatively.) The course was gleefully flat, and it ran around the beautiful Boulder Reservoir, which was totally fogged over. There was a little baby hill, and I got super nervous that there’d be more hills like that, and my heart rate would get way too high and I’d have a panic attack. I have absolutely zero shame these days about walking (nor should you ever, I just used to be able to run much longer without them), and I took more walk breaks than I can remember, but I just kept chugging on and listening to one of my favorite podcasts, reminding myself how lucky I was to able to take in this new place to run.
If we’re being totally honest, I’m super glad I did the race and proud of myself for getting through a race at altitude in the shape I’m in, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss being faster and when all of this came much, much easier to me. Even before leaving for my epic trip, it felt like my intense depression was starting to lift some, so I’m really hoping running will begin to be a bit easier from a motivation and energy standpoint—and that eventually, I will be on less psych meds and not have to deal with the side effects they cause.
HOWEVER, I’m super proud of Laura—she came in 4th in the race!!!! She has gotten so so much faster in the past year or so, and it’s super inspiring to watch both from afar and to watch her come around the corner towards the finish line.
Have you ever run a race while traveling (that you didn’t specifically travel to?)